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Sparks Lake wildfire running north unchallenged, public urged to stay out of evacuation zones

Some orders downgraded

UPDATE 7:20 a.m.

The Thompson-Nicola Regional District has downgraded evacuation orders to alerts for 110 addresses near the Sparks Lake wildfire.

With the fire mostly moving north, the properties in Alpine Valley and Frederick and the north side of Kamloops Lake, are now longer in immediate risk from the blaze.

A full list of addresses, and a map, showing what properties have been downgraded can be found here.


ORIGINAL 4 a.m.

The massive Sparks Lake wildfire northwest of Kamloops is running north unchallenged as officials ask those in evacuation zones to leave for their own safety.

The fire has now grown more than 65,000 hectares in size, according to new mapping published late Tuesday night by the BC Wildfire Service.

Driven by high winds and temperatures, the north flank of the fire is “exhibiting intense fire behaviour.”

“There are currently no ground or air resources along the northern flank due to higher priority areas on the Sparks Lake wildfire and unsafe fire behaviour for wildfire suppression response. There are no crews or equipment to redirect to properties in this area,” BCWS said.

While structural protection equipment has been set up on triaged structures — with crews checking on gear when it is safe to do so — the region north of the fire is mostly wilderness.

With heat warnings now in place for the region, it is expected the fire will remain active on its north and northeast flanks. Crews completed planned ignitions in the Mount Uren area Tuesday, where containment lines were established between there and Gisborne Lake.

Crews are currently working on securing the southeast flank of the fire to free up resources.

“As areas in the south are being secured, crews will move up along the eastern and western flank to create control lines and direct attack where possible towards the north of the fire,” BCWS said.

With the fire moving north unchallenged for now, fire officials are urging people to stay out of evacuation zones.

“Choosing to remain in an area that is under an evacuation order puts yourself, your family, and first responders in danger. It's not worth the risk,” BCWS said in a statement, adding people who inevitably need rescuing from evacuation zones after staying behind also pull scarce resources from the fire fight.

To the west, crews are in mop-up and patrol mode in the Deadman Valley and are shifting to establishing containment from Sabiston Lake north towards the fire perimeter. While small areas of coniferous fuels are burning, the main flank of the fire is not moving west.

There are now 116 firefighters, nine helicopters and 42 pieces of heavy equipment assigned to the fire.



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